If you find yourself in conversation with a new college grad this spring, you may be tempted to share some pearls of job search wisdom. After years in the workforce, you may think you know what it takes to get hired. But, before you start dishing out advice, consider the fact that times have dramatically changed. When it comes to landing that first job out college, what worked 20, 10, 5, or even 2 years ago, doesn't work today.
In Job Search, More Is Not Better
While there's plenty of bad job search advice out there, telling new grads to apply to as many jobs as possible is the worst of the worst. You may think quantity is key, but studies show only 3 percent of applicants to online job postings get contacted for an interview. Spending hours filling out online applications without cardinal knowledge of the company and being referred in is a waste of time. Moreover, the lack of a response to all this useless activity creates a crisis of confidence in the new grad that can make it even harder for them to find a job. They already have to deal with the sobering reality the degree they worked so hard to get (and, likely went into debt to earn), doesn't mean anything to employers today. So, failing at job search only serves to set them back mentally in their quest for employment.
To Be Lucky In Job Search Today, This Is What's Needed
School teaches students everything except how to get the job. So, while recent grads
may be thinking their studying days are over. The truth is, those that get jobs quickly and easily are the ones that study up on, "disruptive job search.". It's the proactive approach required today to stand out from the 3 million other recent college grads so they can land a job. The more they understand how to A) target companies that hire their skills sets, and B) learn how to research the company so they can network their way in and skip the online application black hole, the faster they will get a job. As professionals, our network is our net worth. As a new grad, that net worth is pretty low. As a result, they have to learn how to build a job search strategy that will get them connected to the right people.
Want To Really Help A New Grad? Set Them Up On An 'Info Interview'
Instead of giving advice, why not tap into your network's net worth and offer them an introduction to someone in the industry or career they are interested in? Info interviews aren't job interviews, they're opportunities for new grads to get insider information that can help them improve how they present themselves to potential employers. Helping a new grad feel more confident and excited about the working world is one of the best things you can give them.
Remember, there was a time when you had no experience or job prospects too. Giving a new grad the chance to learn and grow will not improve their confidence, they'll also always be reminded of the positive impact you had on their career. You never know. Someday, the tables could turn and they could help you get a job!